HYDERABAD: Giving gifts, presents and honours even to servants was part of ritualistic practices during the rule of Abdullah Qutb Shah – the seventh ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, according to historians.
The VIIth Qutb Shahi ruler on May 23, 1662, the New Year, had bestowed gifts on two servants Syed Mir Jaffer and Mulla Abdus Samad. Jaffer received one robe of honour, two Turkish horses with head ornaments of gold and silver and Mulla Abdus Samad got a robe of honour.
Prof. Salma Ahmed Farooqui, of HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, brought out these details during her research. “Giving gifts, presents and honours formed part of the ritualistic practices of the time and served to keep intact the social stability of the state,” she said.
Giving gifts, presents and honours formed an important aspect of the Qutb Shahi courts culture. The Sultans bestowed monetary gifts, pensions, titles, robes, turbans and shawls. “The number of such items and their values had a fixed status. Some symbolic robes and rights such as the use of drums and certain banners were restricted to members of the ruling family,” she explained.
In keeping with the traditions, nobles were bestowed with titles, which were incorporated along with their birth names. The bestowing of jagirs and privilege to keep more army units further enhanced the titles.
She found that exchange of gifts between the royalty and the nobility not only strengthened ties but also facilitated in smooth functioning of the state.
The last ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, reached out to the kuchipudi dancer and gifted the dancer ‘Kuchipudi’ village. It was out of appreciation and patronage to that particular fine art.
Nizams’ Paintings give insight into lifestyle
The most important factor giving an insight into the lifestyle and royalty of the Qutb Shahi rulers were paintings. This apart, were poetry, artists drawings of historical works and manuscripts among others.
Fatima Bilgrami, assistant professor of National Institute of Fashion Technology, dwelt upon the Qutb Shah costumes in her paper ‘Royal Costumes of the Qutb Shahi rulers of Golconda’ at the ‘Telangana Through Ages: Perspectives from Early and Medieval Periods’ seminar on Saturday.
“The paintings dating back to the Qutb Shahi era are most important for any enthnographic study. They led a high standard of life and their jewelry and costumers were opulent and graceful,” she said.
An insight into clothing worn then had been crucial in forming the image and adornment of the rulers. The role played by the poets then helped understand the culture and showed that costumes were noteworthy....